Dr. Rajan Gupta, a theoretical physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, gave a presentation titled Future Challenges of Global Energy Systems at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future lunch seminar on June 8. He was introduced by Prof. Adil Najam, Director, Pardee Center.
Dr. Gupta spoke about the “grand challenges” of providing energy to the world’s current population of 6.8 billion people – projected to grow to 10 billion by 2050 – in a way that promotes development for poor countries while minimizing emissions and other impacts that harm the environment and contribute to climate change.
He introduced and demonstrated a new open-access internet database he is currently building called the Global Energy Observatory that will allow researchers to collect and document all aspects of energy systems from around the globe in one location. The database will initially include information about power plants, fuels and resources, and transmission systems. It can provide information at all scales, from the country level (for example, all types of power generated in a country, and the location of power plants and transmission lines) to individual power plant information.
The Global Energy Observatory will provide a comprehensive view of the world’s energy systems and their networks and interdependencies. Based on the information in the database, Dr. Gupta is conducting a global analysis (integrating demographics, economics, health, education and energy and water resources) to help accelerate the transition to affordable and clean energy for the global population.
Dr. Gupta obtained his Masters in Physics from Delhi University, India, and earned his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1982. He has published more than 125 research papers and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.
The next Pardee Seminar will be held at Pardee House (67 Bay State Road, Boston) on Thursday, July 1, 2010 on Africa 2060: Health and Development in Africa.